Wallace return boosts Dyche’s options

Burnley FC Burnley FC
Alex Hendley January 7, 2014
Well funnily enough Jamie he's already got as many assists ... 1 year ago

Alex Hendley is pleased Ross Wallace is on the way back.

It was announced on Monday that Clarets winger Ross Wallace was making a steady return to fitness and played 45 minutes in the Development Squad’s 1-0 win against Wolves. While Sean Dyche and the club refused to put a timescale on Wallace’s return to the first team, it’s still worthwhile taking time to consider what part the Scot has to play in the high-flying Clarets team.

Since Wallace’s last appearance of the season in a 2-0 victory over Yeovil Town, the Clarets have racked up 11 wins out of their 21 league games and lost only three of those – posing the question whether the previously ever-present winger has a place in Dyche’s starting XI.

Since Wallace arrived from Preston North End in 2010, the 28 year-old has scored just 11 goals in 123 appearances for the Clarets. While he may be only be a midfielder, for someone described by Brian Laws as “one of the best left-sided players in the Championship” that isn’t the best record in the world, but then, that WAS Brian Laws…

Anyway, for someone clearly not known for their goals (though I vividly remember a screaming free-kick against Blackpool), the one thing Wallace does provide is a decent ball into the box, and a handful of assists. Claiming two in the famous 4-3 derby victory over Preston and five in his first season (remember this was hardly the great season we’re having at the moment) it’s clear to see what Wallace brings to the team.

However, it is a well known fact among Burnley fans that Ross Wallace’s right foot seems to have gone walkabout. This could be a potential banana skin in the way of Wallace’s return, as Dyche cannot afford to allow a semi-fit player hold up his now famous “balance” of the team, especially if the attacking flow will be constantly halted by Wallace cutting back on to his left peg.

What Wallace will bring to the squad is clear – decent crosses, a few assists (if he gets into form, him and Sam Vokes could make something great) and most importantly – ANOTHER FIT PLAYER. While the flanks aren’t exactly our weakest points – Michael Kightly, Keith Treacy, Scott Arfield, Kieran Trippier (well come on, he basically is) and Junior Stanislas are all options, Wallace’s return could be key to our team’s formation.

It’s clear we need another striker, but Ross’ return could allow players like Stanislas and Treacy to play a more central role, in “the hole” I believe they call it, and while our beloved Keef is hardly Mesut Ozil, it could be a new lease of life for a player who doesn’t seem to enjoy running. It could also allow Arfield to move into central midfield, allowing Jones and Marney to have an extra playmate when we need to pack the midfield against stronger teams.

It would be stupid to say Wallace’s return is anything but a plus for Sean Dyche, given the size of the squad, however it remains to be seen whether Wallace is still good enough to get into the gaffer’s promotion pushing side.

Will Wallace get back in the side? Comment below.

  • quoonbeatz

    its unfortunate for wallace that we’ve got 4 other wide players who can get out of trippier’s way just as effectively as he can.

    • Jamie Smith
      Jamie Smithin reply to quoonbeatz

      Honestly think he might struggle to get on the bench unless we move someone on. No point having three wide players on the bench.

      • Seanin reply to Jamie Smith

        Pretty sure he’ll be in front of both Treacy and Stanislas who have offered so little this season.

        • Jamie Smith
          Jamie Smithin reply to Sean

          Not much evidence that Wallace would offer any more.

          • quoonbeatzin reply to Jamie Smith

            wallace offers less creatively than stanislas and treacy and less defensively than arfield and kightly. he’s an inbetweener.

            • Jamie Smith
              Jamie Smithin reply to quoonbeatz

              he’s definitely Will.

          • Seanin reply to Jamie Smith

            Well funnily enough Jamie he’s already got as many assists in the league as both of them, and he’s been injured for the majority of the season. I’m not a big Wallace fan, but he is proven at this level for being a creative winger. Let’s not confuse creativity with flair. Stanislas has been one of our few genuine disappointments this season and Treacy has had nearly as many false dawns as he had pints. Hopefully Kightly will start showing his genuine quality and Arfield will play out the season continuing the form he’s shown so far and we’ll have little need for Wallace, Stanislas or Treacy.

  • Ian

    Although we weren’t playing too badly, I’d argue that our form actually picked up once Wallace got injured. I think he slows the game down a lot.

    • Alexin reply to Ian

      Me too, think it’s especially with his left leg obsession- still think he has a good delivery just not quick enough maybe for Dyche’s best team?

  • Kevin Robinson
    Kevin Robinson

    That goal against Blackpool was a cracker!

    • Alexin reply to Kevin Robinson

      It was great, was beginning to think no one could remember it!!